Town hall forest

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Town hall forest
Solingen, Germany - panoramio (1) .jpg
place Solingen - forest
builder Paul Junker
architect Paul Junker
Client City forest
Architectural style Nordic Renaissance
Construction year 1891-1892
Coordinates 51 ° 11 '5.4 "  N , 7 ° 2' 48.2"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 11 '5.4 "  N , 7 ° 2' 48.2"  E

The town hall of Wald is the former town hall of the once independent town of Wald , which is now a district of Solingen . The listed building in the style of the Nordic Renaissance was built from 1891 to 1892. After the city of Wald was incorporated into the city of Solingen in 1929, the building was a branch of the Solingen city administration. In 2010 the city of Solingen sold the town hall to the Planbau Schwaben company, which renovated it and transformed it into an office center for service providers .


The office of mayor in Wald was exercised from 1817 to 1848 by the mayors of Merscheider Peter Daniel Köller (until 1837) and Franz von Falderen in personal union. The mayor of this period lived in Weyer in the Honschaft Merscheid . This residential area was on the Rheinweg road from Ohligs to Wald, built in 1753/1754 , which followed the route from Gräfrath Abbey to the Monheim am Rhein harbor , which had been in use since the 13th century . The mayor's office in Wald, a town from 1856 onwards, had no administration building of its own for a long time. The offices were in two rented private rooms, the meetings took place in restaurants.

For Mayor Carl Theodor Alvermann, the problem then arose that he could not find a suitable rental apartment in Wald for himself and his family. As a result, the city ​​council decided in 1869 to build a house for the mayor's office and official residence . The budget for land purchase and house building was set at 6,000 thalers . However, the district government in Düsseldorf did not consider the new building to be necessary. With the construction financing there was also the problem that the savings bank of the Solingen district, in which Wald was involved, did not want to pay out the deposit of 3500 thalers. It was only when Wald turned on the President of the Rhine Province that the money was released from the Sparkasse.

The plot at the Altenhofer road was from the Protestant parish purchased. The foundation stone was laid on July 13, 1870, and on August 1, 1871 the parish hall, as the building was called, was inaugurated. After Mayor Alvermann, Mayor Gottlieb Heinrich moved in with his family in 1888 . After moving into the new town hall in 1892, the building on Altenhofer Straße was first used as a high school and from 1899 a high school for girls . It then served as an auxiliary school and then as the office building of the NSDAP's forest group . After 1945 it belonged to the elementary school before it was demolished together with the neighboring school building.

Construction of the town hall

On October 2, 1888, the mayor Gottlieb Heinrich, experienced in municipal administration, was introduced to his new office in Wald. At the beginning of his tenure was the creation of a city ​​coat of arms . Since it was granted city rights in 1856, the number of inhabitants had doubled by 1889. When the corkscrew railway from Vohwinkel reached Wald on November 16, 1887 and was continued to Solingen in 1890, this was the beginning of an at times volatile industrial development in the city of Wald. This gave rise to the desire for a representative town hall. On April 24, 1890, the city council decided the new building and commissioned the architect Paul Junker with the planning and the subsequent construction management. The Hupperts couple purchased a piece of land at Kaiserstraße 194 (today Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 75/77), where the foundation stone was laid on April 18, 1891 . On June 2, 1892 the new town hall was occupied. Mayor Heinrich moved with his family on June 15, 1892 from Altenhofer Strasse to his new official residence. Before that, the police sergeant Ernst Blasberg and his family had already moved in there. The city council met for the first time in the new assembly hall on July 7, 1892. The construction costs amounted to 138,616 marks . The Walder Sparkasse, which opened on January 1, 1871, was also housed in the new building.

Architecture and architectural decorations

The new town hall was set back from the street as a two-story building on a solid natural stone base . Of the nine axes, two building wings were attached to the rear of the right and left three axes, between which the external staircase was placed. The administrative rooms were on the ground floor, while the office apartment and salon of the mayor and the meeting room were on the upper floor . In the style of Northern Renaissance, the building was faced with brick and sandstone decorative forms on the gable cornice and window jambs divided. The central risalit over three axes of the front facade was shaped by the main entrance, which was framed by a pair of columns on which a balcony rested. The word Rathhaus in the spelling that was valid in Prussia at the time was attached to the portal . The balcony could be entered from the mayor's representation room. The salon was highlighted by high arched windows and the pilaster structure of the facade. The conference room to the left, however, could not be read from the facade. A triangular gable with a sandstone crowning was placed on the central projection , in which three smaller arched windows were combined by a roof over which the town hall clock was attached. The side facades were each given a two-axis central projectile with a crowned triangular gable, which had two arched windows. The other windows on the upper floor on the main and side facades were each given triangular gables in front of the round arch in the masonry, while on the first floor there was only a simple cornice. The dormers were designed as Welsche hoods borrowed from the baroque era . The slate roof was completed by a heavily decorated lattice construction on the roof ridge .

Early modifications and additions

From 1889 to 1905, the population of the city of Wald doubled again. The town hall building was now too small. In September 1903 the city council decided to build an extension. In 1905 the east wing, stylistically adapted to the main building, was built, into which, in addition to the building department, the city ​​treasury and the savings bank moved in and cost 50,439 marks. After the Sparkasse moved into its own building in 1914, its rooms in the extension were converted into offices by adding walls.

After the end of the First World War , political turbulence first arose in the town hall. The USPD , which has dominated the city council with an absolute majority since 1919, used the surroundings of the Kapp Putsch in March 1920 to depose Mayor Heinrich and then to establish a council dictatorship . The British occupation forces prevented this. She had the red flags removed from the town hall and reinstated Heinrich. Mayor Heinrich retired from office that same year. Alderman Carl Schneider carried out official business on a provisional basis. Wilhelm Seynsche became mayor on October 17, 1921. In 1921 the right attic rooms and the mayor's apartment were converted into offices. This resulted in connected dormers on this roof side. In addition, the grid structure on the roof ridge was removed. The city ​​library , housed in a town hall in 1922 , moved out again in September 1926 after a house of its own had been found for it.

Use after incorporation

After the city of Wald was incorporated into the city of Solingen in 1929, the former Walder Mayor Seynsche, who had become Solingen councilor, moved to Solingen with the departments of the school and tax administration. For this purpose, the legal department, the insurance office and the police administration, some of which came from the Gräfrath town hall, were housed in the Walder town hall building. In 1940 the entire building administration moved into the town hall, which was now on Göringstrasse, although a planned extension was not approved in 1939. During the Second World War , in addition to the servants, parts of the Walder citizens also used the air raid shelter in the town hall, and the prison cells in the basement were probably also used for this. In the last months of the war, the Solingen civil administration concentrated in Wald. The mayor Rudolf Brückmann stayed mostly in the Walder town hall.

In 1952, more office space was created by extending the roof of the rear building on the extension from 1905. Rooms in the basement, including the former laundry room, became filing cellars .

On February 21, 1991 the former town hall was placed under monument protection. During the restoration from 1992 to 1993, partitions and the suspended ceiling were removed from the mayor's former salon . The surrounding stucco band discovered in the process was partly renewed. A rose window was created in the middle of the ceiling as a gift from the plasterer to the city. When the city's reprodistribution moved in in 1997 , it was rebuilt again. In 1999, more offices were set up instead of the canteen on the ground floor and the caretaker's apartment on the top floor. In the summer of 2007, talks between the city and an investor who wanted to buy the town hall, the city hall and the former Roter Esel school building in Wald failed . Until September 2008 there were still various departments for planning, mobility, monument preservation or surveying, cadastre in the Wald town hall.

In September 2009 it became known that the Planbau Schwaben company from Stuttgart wanted to buy the town hall in order to set up a center for virtual product development in which expensive CAD software should also be available at low cost for small and medium-sized companies . Condominiums were to be built on a quarter of the 4233 m² property, the parking lot at Walder Stadtpark behind the town hall. which should be spread over four townhouses , three family apartments and two penthouse lofts. The developer wanted to invest five to six million euros . The planned center should neither compete with the Bergisches Institut in the product design forum nor with the start-up and technology center in the former factory building of Friedrich Herder Abraham Sohn . Partially opened at the end of 2010, the renovation work took longer than planned, so that at the beginning of 2012 only 60 percent of the office space was rented. The mayor's old salon had been converted into a presentation room for all tenants. The new building behind the town hall was not implemented for the time being, given the different ideas of the investor and the city, which should have changed the development plan . In March 2012, the tenants founded the Altes Rathaus e. V. as a platform for networking with each other and with business people in the district. At the beginning of 2013, the renovation of the town hall building, which cost 2.5 million euros, was completed with the installation of a second thermal insulation glazing in the inner reveals of the 180 windows. Five music rehearsal rooms for bands were created in the basement .


  • Beate Battenfeld : Town halls in Solingen, past-present-future , history (s) current volume 4, publisher: Bergischer Geschichtsverein Abt. Solingen e. V., 2008.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Heinz Rosenthal: Solingen. History of a City , Volume 2, Walter Braun Verlag. Duisburg 1972, ISBN 3-87096-103-1 .
  2. a b c d e f Heinz Rosenthal: Solingen. History of a City , Volume 3, Walter Braun Verlag. Duisburg 1975, ISBN 3-87096-126-0 .
  3. ^ Heinz Rosenthal: Solingen. History of a City , Volume 1, Walter Braun Verlag, Duisburg, 2nd edition 1973, DNB 457973358.
  4. a b c d e f g h Beate Battenfeld : Town halls in Solingen past-present-future , history (s) current volume 4, publisher: Bergischer Geschichtsverein Abt. Solingen e. V., 2008.
  5. Solingen Mayor - Gottlieb Heinrich on , accessed on December 6, 2015.
  6. Solingen Mayor - Forest on , accessed on December 6, 2015.
  7. Stuttgarter want to go to the town hall, report of the Solinger Tageblatt of September 9, 2009, p. 16.
  8. ^ "In the next 14 days the thing will be done", report of the Solinger Tageblatt from March 10, 2010, p. 21.
  9. Solingen: Still free offices in the old town hall Report of the Solinger Morgenpost from January 26, 2012, accessed on December 6, 2015.
  10. ↑ Networking with party for forest, report of the Solinger Tageblatt of April 20, 2012, p. 17.
  11. Solingen: 2.5 million euros flowed into the Walder town hall Report of the Solinger Morgenpost from January 11, 2013, accessed on December 6, 2015.